Sushi Jin can be considered as one of my favourite Japanese restaurants, not bank-breaking high end yet serve commendable food. So when the Les Amis Group which owns it took over the next door shop for a modern izakaya joint, some anticipation ran high.

JINzakaya located at Owen Link (near Farrer Park MRT) has a more colourful look, decorated like a refurnished old Tokyo train station tavern. Not OTT though.

Counter seating on one side, restaurant on another so that you would avoid smelling liked smoked meat after the meal.

Lunch sets are attractively priced – $12.80 per set with a hojicha drink. For the main item, you can choose between Donburi (rice), Ramen and Soba, Sando (sandwiches) and Sarada (salads).

Come dinner and JINzakaya is transformed to a yakitori sake bar. You would get a small variety of Sashimi, Chinmi (means “rare taste”, many involving pickled seafood), Yakimono, noodles and salads.

The two main recommended noodles are Kimchi Ramen ($12.80) and Jin Tori Ramen ($12.80). Had the former, which contained chargrilled chicken thigh with onsen egg in a white chicken soup base spiced with kimchi paste.

I liked 75% of the components, the chicken was evenly marinated and quite tender, soup savoury-tasty without an overly strong inclusion of kimchi that would mask the base broth. The weakest link was the limpy noodles (we commented as like instant noodles lah) which was perhaps not the type we preferred.

The meat skewers starts from $2.50 from the basic. For a treat and less conventional choices, there are Kaki fresh oyster wrapped with bacon ($5.50), MB4 Wagyu Kushi ($9) and Foie Gras ($9.50) available.

Some hits and misses. I liked the Tsukune ($3.50) which was deliciously moist; Mekajiki ($5.50) was brushed with black pepper sauce which added a level of kick, though tad burnt; and Hotate ($5.50) didn’t taste as fresh we expected. Therefore, I wasn’t that compelled to order more.

At the end of the meal, there are no strong feelings towards JINzakaya. It was… okay, some good dishes, felt somewhere in the middle. Perhaps I would have preferred it to have more of that energetic, lively vibes as one would expect in a yakitori sake bar.

#01-08/10 Owen Link, 1 Farrer Park Station Road.
Tel: +65 6443 1173
Opening Hours: 12pm-3pm last order 2pm (Mon – Sat), 7pm – 11pm last order 10pm (Mon – Sun)

Other Related Entries
Bincho at Hua Bee (Tiong Bahru)
Uma Uma Restaurant & Bar (Millenia Walk)
Wagokoro Hide Yamamoto (Robertson Quay)
Sumire Yakitori House (Bugis Junction)
Ginza Kuroson (Ngee Ann City)

* Daniel’s Food Diary pays for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.


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